Report: Donald Trump Hires Top White-Collar Criminal Defense Lawyer Todd Blanche
Former President Donald Trump has hired top white-collar criminal defense lawyer and former federal prosecutor, Todd Blanche, as his lead counsel to defend him against the district attorney of New York Alvin Bragg’s criminal indictment, according to a report.
Politico‘s Erica Orden reported that Blanche is resigning as a partner at Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft after being asked by Trump to represent him, according to an email. The law firm is New York City’s oldest and one of its most elite.
“I have been asked to represent Trump in the recently charged DA case, and after much thought/consideration, I have decided it is the best thing for me to do and an opportunity I should not pass up,” the email reportedly said.
“Obviously, doing this as a partner at Cadwalader was not an option, so I have had to make the difficult choice to leave the firm,” he reportedly wrote.
Trump is also represented by attorneys Susan Necheles and Joe Tacopina, the latter of whom has defended Trump on the airwaves in recent days.
Blanche is a former assistant U.S. attorney in the Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office and has previously represented Trump associate Paul Manafort.
Blanche successfully got charges dropped that were brought by the Manhattan district attorney’s office against Manafort for mortgage fraud and other crimes, Politico noted.
News of the hire came as Trump headed to New York City for an arraignment on Tuesday. He is expected to surrender to the district attorney’s office, have a mug shot taken, be fingerprinted, and then formally charged.
He is then expected to fly back to his Mar-a-Lago estate and hold remarks in the evening in his first scheduled public address responding to the indictment.
While charges are not yet unsealed, they are expected to involve a so-called hush-money payment to adult actress Stormy Daniels in 2016 concerning an alleged affair in 2006.
Federal prosecutors and authorities have declined to pursue any charges related to the payment, but Bragg—a Democrat-elected politician—has decided to pursue charges, which are widely expected to be a state crime of falsifying business records to hide an alleged federal campaign violation.
Legal analysts on the right and left, as well as the Washington Post editorial board, have cast doubt on whether Bragg can cobble a case together based on those charges.